8 Best Substitute for Golden Syrup Will Make You Surprised

Last weekend, I was having my sleepover party with my girls. We decided to bake some Anzac cookies for snacking while watching the new season of Games of Thrones.

However, I just realized that I ran out of golden syrup right before I prepared the ingredients. Moreover, it was not that easy to buy it since I could not find it in any of the nearby supermarkets.

I was thinking about using honey instead, but I am not sure whether the taste of the cookies would be the same or not. Therefore, I searched on the Internet for some advice.

Surprisingly, plenty of articles and blogs recommended honey as one of the best substitute for Golden Syrup. There are even more other unimaginable ingredients which can perfectly replace it.

It was my lifesaver!!! So I think it would be too selfish if I did not share my secrets with you. I have read more details about all the substitutes and used them myself to see the outcomes.

In this post, I will list all my favorite replacements for golden syrup and give you a short comparison of them. Follow my post until the end, I am sure it will benefit you next time you cook using golden syrup.

What Is Golden Syrup?

best golden syrup substitutes

First of all, for those who are still wondering what exactly is golden syrup and what is its usage, I will quickly explain.

Golden syrup is a natural product made from the sugarcane refining process. It can be originated from sugar beet by adding either enzyme or acid.

The syrup is also called a light treacle and has a color similar to amber. It is commonly used in diverse cooking recipes, especially for baking and making desserts. It serves as a natural sweetener.


Golden Syrup and sugar have no difference in terms of chemical compositions since they all include 50 percent of glucose and 50 percent of fructose. In terms of user behavior, Golden Syrup is easier to use, because it is a liquid but sugar is in hardened form.

In the essence, the former comprises of 44 percent sucrose, 27 percent glucose, 27 percent fructose and 2 percent of other components, while the latter has its fructose and glucose molecules chemically bonded together as sucrose.


Each tbsp of golden syrup has 60 calories and 17g of carbonhydrates, being more or less the same with sugar, which contains 49 calories and 12,6 carbohydrates per tbsp.

Therefore, it can be said that there is no clear advantage of utilizing one ingredient over the other in terms of nutrition.

What Are The Most Well-Known Golden Syrups Around The World?

Thanks to its exceptional pleasant taste and flavor, golden syrup has been adopted widely and consequently, you can find it almost everywhere all over the world.

Produced firstly by Tate & Lyle, the Lyle’s Golden Syrup is currently considered as the most well-known brand in the UK.

The brand can be found internationally in Canada and America. You might see some items from other English brands like British sugar or Ragus sugar.

In Australia, Bundaberg Sugar and Smith’s takes over the market with its famous product line, named CSR Limited.

Similarly, Chelsea Golden Syrup has remained its popularity as the most traditional brand since the 19th century in New Zealand.

Among European countries, German product like Zuckerrübensirup by Grafschafter Krautfabrik is very popular.

8 Best Ingredients Used As A Substitute For Golden Syrup

Having carefully considered, I have chosen three out of many other ingredients as the best alternatives for golden syrup. They are LightCorn Syrup, Honey, and Maple syrup.

Now, let me explain each one in more detail so that you can get a clear overview!

My Best Choice: Light Corn Syrup

This is my first choice after reading a lot of reviews on the Internet and having tried myself to bake cookies with it. Corn Syrup (also called Maize Syrup) is originated from corn starch.

It is commonly used in many recipes with plenty of uses such as preventing sugar crystallization, flavoring, adding volume, softening the texture.

There are two types of corn syrup: light syrup and dark one. While the former is basically a light-color sweetener, the latter is a bit more intense in flavor with caramel color.

I would recommend the light one since its taste is closer to Golden Syrup.

Basically, light corn syrup can perfectly replace Golden Syrup in every recipe. There is only slight difference that the corn one has a very mild flavor, while light treacle is uniquely light and buttery.

2. Honey

This is a very popular ingredient which everyone must use at least once before.

The prerequisite advantage of this ingredient is 100% natural components, so it is very healthy. Same as Golden Syrup, honey is commonly used for flavoring and sweetening.

However, unlike Golden Syrup or Light Corn Syrup, Honey has quite a strong flavor depending on its varieties. Since it is made from many types of the flower which have different smells and tastes.

Honey can have diverse flavors. Accordingly, it might seriously influence the taste of your dish. So, be careful to decide on its variety when choosing Honey as a substitute for golden syrup.

More notably, Golden Syrup is a flexible binding agent in many recipes, Whilst Honey is not. Honey might change its texture when it is combined with certain constituents.

As a result, the outcomes will be different in diverse dishes. Last but not least, Honey cannot sustain in high heat as light treacle.

3. Maple Syrup

The next choice in my list is Maple Syrup. It is derived from the sap of sugar maple, red maple or black maple trees. The liquid after being extracted will be boiled until it becomes the pure syrup.

It is classified based on its purity, the more intense it is the darker grade it gets. Regard the taste, light treacle might be slightly sweeter than maple syrup.

One of the obvious advantages of this syrup is its rich nutrition since it is made from purely natural maple sap. Another is its longevity. After being opened, it can be stored in the fridge for a year.

Since making this syrup takes a lot of time and effort, the selling price is fairly high, around $19 for a 50ml bottle. Personally, that is definitely a cons of this substitute.

Moreover, some maple syrups are too runny so sometimes you might end up with biscuits that are ultra soft, which I do not like the most when using Maple Syrup as a substitute.

A little trick is that I sometimes mix Honey with Maple Syrup, and such combination works well in terms of the taste and also the texture!

Overall, I have to admit that golden syrup has its own unique pleasant flavor that others cannot replace it in some dishes.

 If you are so fancy it and do not want to switch to other ingredients, do not worry. You can make it at home. There are tons of simple tutorials and blogs on the Internet that show you how to make your own Golden Syrup. Go and check it out!

4. Agave Nectar

Agave Nectar is described as a mild flavor that keeps a liquid physical state at normal or room temperature. In my private opinion, agave nectar is the best choice to replace.

Agave Nectar is used as an ingredient in plenty of foods and recipes such as chocolate sauce, syrup, or pie. You can easily find it sold in the market as a natural and friendly sweetener.

According to the research, it is a good kind of sweetener because it helps control your blood sugar levels even if you have diabetes.

Agave Nectar is a substitute for some syrups in many recipes, for example, golden syrup, because it is compared sweeter than sugar, about one and a half times.

You also notice that agave syrup contains almost fructose, while golden syrup combines fructose and glucose, so the taste will be a little bit different about sweetness if you use the ratio of 1:1 to substitute.

Therefore, you will put less in your dish to get the same taste. In this way, you should cook at a lower temperature and reduce about 10C/50F.

5. Cane syrup

Cane syrup is an amber-colored liquid sweetener made from evaporating sugar cane juice until thick and syrupy.

It has a dark golden brown with medium intensity used by Creole, Caribbean, and especially British cooks for many years. People use cane syrup to make pancakes, cereals, and biscuits.

Cane syrup also is the replacement for golden syrup because they come from the same origin. It would be best to boil down cane syrup; then, you can use it as using golden syrup instead.

6. Brown Rice Syrup

Have you ever heard about Brown Rice Syrup? It is also an excellent replacement for golden syrup. It is made from rice starch which is broken down into simple sugars.

Then, sugars are boiled until concentrated and become a syrup.

The brown rice syrup has a delicious and attractive taste as cooked brown rice and is often used to make candy, sauces, or a syrup base in cocktails.

We can use brown rice syrup to replace golden syrup because it is also a liquid sweetener with nuttiness and mild sweetness.

About my experience, I sometimes use brown rice syrup to substitute the subtle sticky stuff in golden syrup when I make moon cake and treacle tart. I like its taste, so brown rice syrup is always available in my kitchen.

7. Black Treacle

Treacle is the name used in British for some syrup made during the process to make the sugar cane. The dark treacle (also black treacle) is one of the treacle which has a bitter taste.

Light treacle is known as Golden Syrup and made from the first boiling of the sugar cane. It contains 65% sucrose with the lightest color and sweetest among all of the treacles.

In comparison, Black Treacle is made from the second boilings, which have just about 55% sucrose.

About nature, they have many properties in common. Moreover, as its name, the golden syrup has a gold color, and we can see-through, while the dark treacle is darker and hard to see-through.

As an excellent substitution, the dark treacle is often used to create fruit cakes, delicious, moist cakes, and biscuits.

With the stronger flavor, richer color, and not quite sweet, we can use dark treacle to replace golden syrup in many recipes without consideration.

8. Molasses

Molasses is a by-product of the process to refine sugar through a boiling process. As standard, the syrup is boiled three times when the sucrose is crystallized.

Then, we will get the molasses which appear with a dark color, opaque, strong flavor, and a bitter taste. It is also quite dense as a result of high concentration during its production process.

Based on inherent characteristics, golden syrup is often used in baking and gives us a better taste than molasses.

While molasses tend to produce beer more than food, maybe you don’t know that molasses play an essential role in making stout.

People also use it to prepare sauces and add color, also a flavor for savory food products. Molasses is also an ideal item as a binding agent, preservative, and natural food colorant.

However, you can use golden syrup and molasses in baked foods to add color and eye-catching flavor to your dish. They will bring you an excellent taste for your dish.

Final Thoughts

Golden Syrup substitute

That was so far all my favorite substitute for golden syrup. I hope you might find it helpful and enjoy reading my post.

 Please leave a comment if you have used one of those ingredients to replace the golden syrup and let me know what do you think about the results.

By the way, my blog shares a lot of foods substitute such as the substitute for thyme , substitute for celery seed. Check it out :).

I would also appreciate if you like and share this post with your friend!!!

5 thoughts on “8 Best Substitute for Golden Syrup Will Make You Surprised”

  1. Thanks Richard. Living overseas in a country that has its own sugar industry and golden syrup naught found for love or money. I wonder what they do with it, maybe just refine the lot. Anyway, you rescued my gingerbread men. They pass on their thanks, as I rush about trying to catch them while they mock me with that rhyming ditty.

  2. To answer Sarah’s comment would probably be because heat destroys honey’s natural healing properties as it is a very good healing agent.
    But, this is not the reason why I am actually commenting here; it’s because of this:

    ‘Basically, light corn syrup can perfectly replace Golden Syrup in every recipe.’
    I totally disagree with that rash statement…(lol)
    Try making a batch of my ginger biscuits that calls for golden syrup and substitute it with (ugh)..light corn syrup. Sorry, you will end up with a total mess. Chewy, fall apart ginger biscuits are definitely not what ginger biscuits are all about or should look or taste like.
    So, no! You can’t substitute corn syrup in every recipe. Maybe you can, but you shouldn’t. Keep it authentically real.


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